Of course, there are obvious skills that any PPC Manager will need – expertise in the area, time management and communication skills, hard-working and quick – but there are others that only come from years of training and experience.
Before delving into these essential qualities, how do you know if your company is a good candidate for hiring an expert PPC consultant? These cases tend to be the best fit:
- Small teams that struggle under the workload of managing PPC campaigns.
- Beginners in online advertising or without a SEM/Paid Media department.
- Any organization, large or small, without access to or expertise in the technologies needed for campaign management, analysis, and optimization.
Now, let’s dive into the top skills you should be on the lookout for in your search for the right PPC Manager.
Skills of a good PPC Manager
1. Deep understanding of the client
The very best PPC Managers learn the ins and outs of their client’s business strategy: the industry, competitors, budget, KPIs, goals, etc. This deep understanding helps them spot opportunities and threats.
They ask questions like: What are your short vs. long-term goals? What is your current ratio of leads to customers? What is the average lifetime value of a customer?
A great PPC Manager will also learn everything about your products and services, asking questions such as: Are there any seasonal patterns to be aware of? Will there be upcoming technological innovations? What’s the average product sales cycle?
And finally, they will seek to identify and understand who your ideal customer is (also called Buyer Persona) and the motivations that could lead someone to go with your product, service, or brand.
This can be ascertained through questions like: What are the most common questions your sales team gets? What are the demographics of your current customers? What similar brands are you competing against?
The biggest sign that you’ve found the right person is that they’re immediately passionate about how your business works, customer intent, and achieving your objectives.
2. Data-driven and analytical
An eye – and mind – for data and analysis is one of the top characteristics of PPC Managers. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that they’ll be faced with large amounts of data every day.
This means you’ll need to find someone who can understand all the data, break it down into smaller pieces to analyze it, find patterns or trends, summarize the findings, extract conclusions, and determine areas for improvement or optimization. That’s a lot of work, and only those blessed with fine analytical skills can excel in the task at hand.
For Google Ads, analysis will include: reviewing Google Ads campaigns, viewing metrics in spreadsheets, budgeting, forecasting or predicting outcomes, and optimizing campaigns based on data and results. They’ll pour over data points like: CPC, keyword traffic, conversion rate, ROI, other important campaign metrics.
All of these data points will help with campaign success, so there needs to be somebody there to sift through the numbers and guide future decisions…without getting overwhelmed. The best PPC Managers love numbers and get excited at making sense of them.
As a final, but very important note, the person you choose will be key in constructing easy-to-understand reports for decision-makers. After all, most clients or directors may not want to take the time or energy to look at tons of heavy data. They want to know what it means and what they should do with it.
3. Organized and pay attention to detail
When you’re running several accounts at the same time, the workload can be staggering. It’s easy to make mistakes and slip up when you are jumping from one campaign to the next. That’s where a PPC Manager’s attention-to-detail comes in handy.
They put everything under the lens of a microscope. So much so, that they’re the type of person who can tell if one decimal is out of place in a campaign budget – a mistake that could save you hundreds!
Another key characteristic of a PPC Manager is being highly-organized and documenting each and every element of a client’s account: from the ad campaign structure to keyword lists to bidding targets. They organize the campaign in a way that allows room for set up, experimentation, and optimization, and as the client, you are confident that they will stick to the established budget and timeline, while at the same time achieving desired results.
Trusting your PPC Manager will give you huge peace of mind!
4. Technical expertise in PPC
There is no doubt about it: PPC is a job that requires a technical background. PPC management often calls for a deep understanding of these technologies and areas:
- Platforms like Google Ads and Bing, among others.
- Google Search and Display networks, affiliate networks, etc.
- Paid social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Keyword analysis and monitoring tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Search Terms Report, or Orbital Ads.
- Google analytics dashboards and Excel.
Not every PPC Manager will have expertise in all of these areas, but what they will have is an innate ability to quickly learn new technologies. That, combined with their passion for search and Internet Marketing, makes them great at their job!
The more technical elements to a PPC job may include: analyzing keywords, implementing campaign automation, tracking codes and tags, combing through data on various engine interfaces, and creating analytics dashboards.
Finally, a good PPC Manager will be able to keep up with the latest trends for browsers, devices, and platforms, so that their clients’ ad campaigns never miss a beat.
5. Proactive and strategic
Although PPC requires a technical mind, it also requires a lot of creativity. It can be said that the best PPC Managers have a strategic growth mindset, combining strategy with new ideas for tackling problems.
It is this passion for trying out new things, investigating new approaches, and exploring new ideas that makes them so good at their job. But they don’t do so without regard for the client – they are highly strategic in their approach to experimentation. They take calculated risks, see what works or doesn’t work, and then recalculate their approach until they achieve successful results.
As you well know, there are many tasks that a competent PPC Manager and their team must perform:
- Define the strategy for the chosen channel, ad format, ad placement, etc.
- Study the strategy of competing businesses in terms of content, advertising, and audience.
- Monitor keyword lists, negative keywords, the search terms reports, and keyword competitiveness and bidding.
- Track results and interpret campaign metrics.
- Optimize campaigns through A/B testing of ad copy, landing pages, and CTAs.
Even though they have all of these tasks to perform and more, a great PPC Manager knows that a successful Google Ads campaign never lies stagnant. They’re proactive in identifying opportunities and threats to campaigns.
This requires being up-to-date on SEO trends, industry developments, Google’s changing algorithms, new features, changes in technologies, etc. If they foresee any problems, they are open and honest with the client about the impact of the circumstances on campaigns, and they’re always equipped with potential alternatives and solutions. One of the things a PPC Manager does best is anticipate problems and come up with a plan B.
If you’re in need of a SEM Manager profile, look out for those signs to make sure you can confidently put your trust and budget into the hands of this new teammate.
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